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Ask Steven

Which bowler has dismissed the most batters for 99 across formats?

And how many batters' first three or more hundreds have come in defeats?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Jagadeesan's (left) 277 and his 416-run opening partnership with Sai Sudharsan were also List A records broken in the course of Tamil Nadu racking up their massive 506  •  Daya Sagar/ESPNcricinfo

Jagadeesan's (left) 277 and his 416-run opening partnership with Sai Sudharsan were also List A records broken in the course of Tamil Nadu racking up their massive 506  •  Daya Sagar/ESPNcricinfo

Was Tamil Nadu's recent total of 506 the highest in a senior one-day game? asked Ranil de Silva from Sri Lanka
Tamil Nadu's 506 for 2 against Arunachal Pradesh in India's Vijay Hazare Trophy in Bangalore last November set several records for List A (senior one-day) cricket. It was the highest innings total, surpassing England's 498 for 4 against Netherlands in Amstelveen in June.
Narayan Jagadeesan's 277 was another List A record, beating Alistair Brown's 268 for Surrey against Glamorgan at The Oval in 2002, while his opening partnership of 416 with Sai Sudharsan (154) was another record, beating 372 for West Indies' second wicket by Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels against Zimbabwe in Canberra during the 2015 World Cup.
Tamil Nadu then bowled Arunachal Pradesh out for 71, to win by 435 runs - another record, beating Somerset's 346-run victory over Devon in Torquay in the NatWest Trophy in 1990.
Harry Tector scored his first three centuries in the space of four ODIs recently, but Ireland finished on the losing side each time. Is this unique? asked Kaushik Bhattacharya form England
The young Ireland batter Harry Tector certainly did not have the rub of the green during his recent run of form. His first one, 113 against New Zealand in Malahide in July, ended in a one-wicket defeat. A few days later, also in Malahide, he scored 108 but New Zealand won by one run. Then, in Harare last week, Tector hit 101 not out but Zimbabwe won by three wickets off the last ball of a rain-affected match.
Tector was the fifth man to score his first three ODI centuries in defeats, following Stuart Carlisle of Zimbabwe, Australia's Ricky Ponting, Marcus Trescothick of England and Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews. But there are two men who went one better (or arguably worse): Andy Flower of Zimbabwe and England's and Robin Smith both scored their first four ODI centuries in defeats. In Tests, Mohammad Ashraful scored his first five centuries in matches that Bangladesh lost.
I noticed that Ravi Rampaul dismissed three men for 99 in ODIs, and another in a T20I. Has anyone inflicted more 99s than this in international cricket? asked Aswin Kini via Facebook
The short answer is no: the West Indian seamer Ravi Rampaul is the only man to have dismissed four batters for 99. He accounted for Virat Kohli, Jos Buttler and Kusal Perera in ODIs between November 2013 and November 2015, after bowling England's Alex Hales for 99 in a T20I at Trent Bridge in 2012.
No one else has inflicted more than two 99s in men's international cricket. Six people have managed this: Allan Donald of South Africa (Saleem Malik and Stephen Fleming, both in Tests), India's Madan Lal (Allan Lamb in an ODI, Javed Miandad in a Test), Ravindra Pushpakumara of Sri Lanka (two Test captains in Alistair Campbell and Sourav Ganguly, both in Tests), India's Virender Sehwag (Matthew Hayden and Sanath Jayasuriya in ODIs), Phil Tufnell of England (John Wright and Mark Waugh in Tests), and Pakistan's Umar Gul (Sachin Tendulkar in an ODI, Daniel Vettori in a Test).
What's the nearest any team has got to scoring 1000 in first-class cricket without doing so, and what's the highest first-class total in the current century? asked Darren Chapman from England
The closest any team has come to topping 1000 in a first-class innings - since Victoria did it twice in the 1920s - was in a Test in Colombo in August 1997, when Sri Lanka piled up 952 for 6 before declaring in response to India's 537 for 8. That just shaded Sind's 951 for 7 declared (Aftab Baloch 428) against Baluchistan in Pakistan's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in Karachi in 1973-74.
The highest total in the current century is Queensland's 900 for 6 declared against Victoria in the Sheffield Shield final in Brisbane in March 2006. This came under threat twice in the 2021-22 overseas season: in the Ranji Trophy, Jharkhand piled up 880 against Nagaland in Kolkata, while in Afghanistan's domestic tournament Boost Region made 864 for 9 declared against Speen Ghar in Kandahar.
I noticed that Malaysia's men won 13 successive T20Is towards the end of 2022. Is this a record? asked Harmat Singh from Malaysia
You're right that Malaysia won 13 successive T20Is between June and December 2022. Their sequence (which included a no-result) came to an end on December 23, when Bahrain beat them by six wickets in Bangi. The previous-best sequence in T20Is was 12, by Afghanistan in 2018 and 2019; India later won 12 in a row in 2021-22.
The record for all T20 matches is 25 successive wins, by the Pakistan team Sialkot Stallions between February 2006 and October 2010. They are some way clear of Karnataka, in India, who won 15 in a row in 2018 and 2019.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes